Monthly Grief Composting Circles for women and men who love, grieve, live and feel life.
In a quiet and gentle embrace of the circle, we build a safe space in which our collective mourning for the Earth, the wounded society and our own losses and the pain of the heart and soul are expressed.
With every wave of grief, we can feel the connection with the community and the mother Earth in the circle of integration, which we surrender all our pain and tears, unresolved grief and loss. By doing this, we become more open to feeling genuine joy and love, returning the ability to love and to connect with the fellow human and the natural world.
The magic of composting alchemy changes mourning and sadness into a fertile basis from which life can grow again; from grief to love and from death to new life.
Just like everything that dies, it becomes compost to a new life and growth, so our release of sadness can become a life act and creation, an expression of gratitude for everything we have loved, and everything that we have lost.
A compassionate grief ritual is carried out in three parts:
- The first part is performed in candlelight and the connection of people through grief and pain, where anger, fear, sadness, despair, mournfulness and the mystery of all these feelings are welcomed and accepted and welcomed in the collective circle of the ritual.
- The second part of the circle is performed in the perfect darkness, which gives a feeling of presence in the compost pile or the womb, and which gives the possibility of the most intimate expression through crying, stories, sounds, singing, and movements. The darkness gives us privacy and intimacy, and the unburdening of being obsessed with our expression.
The people and the ritual space provide you with a container, where you can turn to for support and to release everything that burdens your heart and soul as we allow ourselves to be fully present.
- The third part of the ritual is the transition to the light and the revival of all that power, love and gratitude give us.
Each of us gets an opportunity to hear that he or she is accepted and that the pain and sadness are important, obedient and supported in the community circle.
By doing so, the body and soul are freed from all suppressed emotions, traumas and blockades, and forgotten sorrows, for which we often do not even know that we have it or where it comes from and what it is named.
In this way, our grief becomes liquid and flowing, our grief does not stop and accumulates within the body, but returns to the environment and composts itself into new power and life. Your sorrow and your story of grief and pain is healing my sadness and my pain.
It is a holistic opportunity for the most intimate association with the fellow man, the community, the ancestors, the earth, the water, the air, the fire and the whole creation, and the treatment and transformation within the individual and at the collective level.
The Grief Composting Circles are rooted in sacred practice and derive from the autochthonous village of the Dagara tribe in Burkina Faso from southern Africa. The Dagara people carry out a collective grief ritual once a week with the intention of grief and sorrow remaining flowing like a river and that it is not caught and stopped like a dam within our bodies, as is typical for the Western world.
The Grief Composting circle was created by Azul-Valerie Thome with the inspiration and knowledge of many teachers of ancient rituals and grief practices by Francis Weller, Sobonfu Some, Joanna Macey, Stephen Jenkinson …
In the ritual itself, I contributed and invited the spirit of the time and space of our Ancient Believers in Slovenia and their way of life of ritual connections with nature and creation.
The ritual is intertwined with the spirits of our ancestors, the elements and the beauty of the whole creation, and is based on Francis Weller’s 5 gates of grief.
The first gate of grief: What we love, we will lose
calls an INITIATION into the mystery of death and into the gratitude of our capacity to love within that mystery.
The second gate of grief: The spaces that did not know love
calls for an INITIATION into the mystery of adulthood and into the GRATITUDE of being able to welcome back home to our Soul all that has been outcast and sent into exile. This grief appears in those fragments of our soul that have not received love, kindness, compassion, warmth…. These are fragments in us and in our soul, which are covered and held with condemnation, disgrace and contempt … all that we feel as imperfections about ourselves all this is grief for our soul and the integrity of our being. Whatever portion of who we are is denied, we live in a condition of loss and a proper response to this should be grief.
The third gate of grief: The sorrows of the world
calls for the INITIATION into the immutable bond with all of creation and with deep GRATITUDE that we Belong to our Living World.
This is grief that occurs because the loss of contact with nature, sorrows for Mother Earth and its destruction, economic and social conditions, lost cultures, languages, etc. Through this gate of grief we experience and feel the soul of the world and our spiritual obligation is to make us aware of these losses and to recall our connection with the earth, which brings healing of our body and soul.
The fourth gate of grief: What we expected when we arrived, but we did not receive
calls for an INITIATION into our Deep Time lineage and into the GRATITUDE of Remembering Who we are and Where we come from.
It is grief for belonging, acceptance, initiation, touch, sounds, connection, singing and dancing, creativity and beauty, intimacy, nature, communities, rituals and circles in which the stories and experiences of losses, births, deaths, dreams, sorrows, pain, joy and so much more are shared and cherished. It is about belonging to one another, community, ancestors, nature and the whole world and its creation.
The fifth gate of grief: Ancestral grief
calls for an INITIATION into Elderhood and into the GRATITUDE that we can Restore and Renegotiate our family tree.
‘Grief has always been communal, always been shared and consequently has traditionally been regarded as a sacred process. Too often in modern times our grief becomes private, carrying an invisible mantle of shame forcing our sorrow underground, hidden from the eyes that would offer healing. We must restore the conversation we need to have concerning the place of grief in our lives. Each of us must undertake an apprenticeship with loss’. Francis Weller
‘For a grief ritual to take place there is not need for any particular crisis or event. It is there for the health and well being of their community of humans and non humans. Each person expressing their grief is witnessed, held and thanked for the soul work they are doing for the whole. Can we bring this practice and wisdom to our communities?’ —Azul-Valérie Thomé
“Tears have a reason to be here, a tear is a prayer. It’s also a way to say yes to life. It’s the other side of joy. If you can’t express your grief, you can’t be genuinely happy. Tears enable us to be alive.” Sobonfu Some
THE GRIEF COMPOSTING CIRCLE SHOULD NOT BE TREATED AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR ANY PROFESSIONAL AND OFFICIAL MEDICAL ASSISTANCE, TREATMENTS, PROTOCOLS OR MEDICATION. THE METHODS AND TECHNIQUES THAT ARE USED ARE BASED ON YEARS OF EXPERIENCE AND WORK AND INDEPENDENT EDUCATION AND THE KNOWLEDGE IS SOLEMNLY SHARED WITH PURPOSE OF IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF LIFE, FOR PERSONAL GROWTH, EDUCATION AND RECREATION. IN THE EVEN OF PHYSICAL OR MENTAL DISTRESS, PLEASE CONSULT WITH APPROPRIATE MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS. THE APPLICATION OF PROTOCOLS AND INFORMATION IS THE CHOICE OF EACH INDIVIDUAL AND BY APPLYING AND PARTICIPATING IN THE GRIEF COMPOSTING CIRCLE , YOU ASSUME FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION, UNDERSTANDING, INTERPRETATIONS AND RESULTS.